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Irish Chileans

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Irish Chileans
  • Hiberno-chilenos
  • Gael-Sileánach
Total population
1% population of Chile
Regions with significant populations
Punta Arenas, Magallanes Region, Santiago, Chile
Spanish. Minority speaks English and/or Irish as first language.
Roman Catholicism.
Related ethnic groups
Irish people, Irish Americans, Irish Argentines, Irish Brazilians, Irish Canadians, Irish Mexicans, Irish Paraguayans, Irish Peruvians, Irish Uruguayans, Scottish people, Scottish Chileans, Welsh Chileans.

Irish Chileans (in Spanish: Hiberno-chilenos, Irish: Gael-Sileánach) are the inhabitants of Chile who either came from some part of the island of Ireland or are descendants of immigrants from there. Generally coming in the 18th century and early 19th century, the generally Catholic Irish were seeking refuge from the oppression of the Protestant-run government of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Spain, being a Catholic power, enticed many Irish to move to Latin America. Immigration diminished later in the 19th century as Catholic Emancipation made emigration to a Catholic nation less of a vital consideration and as the United States and Canada established themselves as more viable lands for settlement.[citation needed]

A large proportion of Irish Chileans are sheep farmers in the Magallanes Region of the far south of the country, and the city of Punta Arenas has a large Irish foundation dating back to the 18th century.[citation needed]

The most notable Irish Chilean, Bernardo O'Higgins, is often referred to as the "Father of Chile", and is commemorated in many places in Chile.[citation needed]

Notable Irish Chileans[edit]


  1. ^ O'Higgins Tours. "Los irlandeses en Chile". Retrieved 10 January 2010.

See also[edit]